Have you tried advising married audience and they suddenly acted defensive citing that you’ve got no right to talk to them since you aren’t married and without experience? As a young fellow who has been particularly interested in the subject of relationships and marriage, I have written on topics associated with it and I’ve always gotten such approach from some folks.
At some times, I try to understand them and at some other times, I realize that they aren’t standing on that school of thought because they want to protect themselves from wrong counsels but because they are proud and arrogant. Let me bring something to your notice:
Brain and wisdom are not marital gifts, one doesn’t need to be married to be able to know more. The experience will definitely help, it will help broaden perspective, it will help build trust from the audience but experience in itself isn’t a yardstick to measuring wise sayings. Marriage doesn’t certify wisdom, the experiences can make or show you wiser but the act of being married in itself doesn’t truly signify wisdom.
It is like parents who ditch every good content on parenting simply because the creator of those contents don’t have kids or isn’t married. We were all once kids who have grown and some of us have realised what our parents didn’t do well while raising us and how it has impacted us negatively, we have also seen what they got right and how it is helping us; isn’t that quality experience in itself?
When you stumble on wisdom and very helpful words, embrace it and put it to work. Stop seeking “certificate of experience” where it doesn’t matter. You don’t learn how to be married in marriage, you learn it before getting married. One reason why experiences aren’t the great yardstick for measuring wisdom is that we are all peculiar and our experiences will differ in context. The circumstances surrounding our experiences are very unique and how we dealt with it may never work for the next folk.
For example, some women got married to a bully who was on it for several years before finally coming to his senses. Their advice for other women who are experiencing the same thing would be to stay in the marriage and be patient. While they may all share equal experiences, they don’t share equal personalities. While one person had a changed husband, the other may have a husband who isn’t willing to change. She may die in his hands just because she was waiting for the day his mind will change.
There is information that is general and anyone possessing it can share it to those who care to receive it. I may not tell you how I’ve handled my marriage because I’ve never been married but I can suggest things you may want to try in your marriage, things I trust will work or things I’ve learnt from others or even my parents. Some information is golden whether it is coming from the mouth of a baby or the mouth of an old man. If I happen to study more on marriage than some folks who are married, it is normal for me to know much more than them and it isn’t out of place if I share what I know with them.
Rejecting counsels simply because the counsellor hasn’t had the experience before would be foolish, counsels should be rejected because they aren’t practical and applicable to our circumstances, it can be rejected because it is bias and unwise but if the only reason why we reject it is because the counsellor or advisor has no experience, then we are threading a foolish path.
I read a story in the Bible where Peter and other colleagues have toiled all night to catch fishes but to no avail. Jesus came and instructed them on what to do, Jesus had never fished before, they have never seen him around before but since they were experiencing failure using their own method, the best thing to do wasn’t to question an opinion but to see sense in it and try it out. They experienced net breaking miracles!
Just like Jesus, some people have unusual wisdom, it may be a revelation or insight that had come from studies! Sometimes, our helpers don’t often appear in the form we desire, they may not come in the status we had envisaged. Some people know what works but they haven’t applied it to themselves because opportunity hasn’t called for it and some people know what works but haven’t applied it because they’ve not disciplined themselves enough to be practical with what they know. When such people share what they know, those who grab it excel with it regardless of whether former has benefited from his own knowledge or not.
When we stumble upon relevant counsels that is full of wisdom and glaring truth in all ramifications, our reception of that counsel should not be based on what the experiences of the counsellor are. Jesus was speaking to an audience concerning the teachers of the law when he said
“So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.” – Matthew 23:3 NLT
There is a difference between harkening to a wise counsel and following the examples of the counsellor. The counsellor may not be a good example but can be a good teacher. This is applicable to people without experience, they may have no experience that you should follow their examples but they have words that you can listen to and learn from it.
My mother doesn’t like beans, she may not eat it when she doesn’t feel like even at gunpoint but she encouraged us to always eat beans because of its protein nutrients. By example, she wasn’t eating beans and if we were to accept her counsel based on what she does, we may have ended up not eating beans and missing out on its nutrients. Her counsel was for our benefit and not being able to eat beans was her own problem and not ours.
I may not have eaten an apple before but I know you should wash your apple before you eat it. Not eating an apple is my own issue and not yours, asking you to wash an apple before eating it is for your own good and not mine. If you decide not to wash your apple simply because the counsel came from a man who hasn’t eaten an apple before, the health risks are yours to bear. Any day I decide to eat an apple, I may go ahead and wash it before eating or I may also not but the risk is mine to bear too.
Embrace wisdom! Sometimes they come in words and not in practicality. Be able to recognise it and when you do, don’t despise it. That the orange is green doesn’t mean the juice isn’t yellow-red!